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How to ace your scholarship application
How to ace your scholarship application - Scholars' Choice
Make your scholarship application stand out by including your extracurricular activities and key accomplishments. PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES

Your application is key to winning that scholarship. Here are seven ways to craft one that sets you apart from the competition

Scholarships are advantages for students as they provide financial assistance and serve as a career springboard. However, depending on the scholarship you apply for, the competition to secure one may be fierce. Don’t rule yourself out of the running as there are ways to stand out from other applicants. Read these top tips before you send out your application.

Choose what to list
Start by doing research about the scholarship and consider the purpose of the award before deciding what to include or omit. Don’t hesitate to eliminate any accomplishments that don’t fit. Rule of thumb: Think quality over quantity.

List important accomplishments first
Evaluate the importance of your accomplishments in terms of:

  • How well they fit the purpose of the scholarship.
  • How much of an impact they have made.
  • How unique they are.

Include extracurricular activities
Many scholarship providers look beyond academic performance. For instance, industry scholarships will factor in your portfolio and extracurricular activities you have outside of school when assessing your application.

Present information in a compelling way
Create a powerful story of why you deserve the scholarship by boldly showcasing your accomplishments and focusing on leadership qualities and contributions. Scholarship committees are always on the lookout for a well-rounded student who goes above and beyond.

Personalise it
Use your application to show who you are as an individual – your biggest strengths, your life goals, and what you’re most proud of in life. Highlight specific examples of what sets you apart from the rest.  Above all, be yourself.

Pay attention to the details
Your application is the first impression you make to the scholarship provider. So ensure the document is neat, the word count is met and that there are no misspellings, missing words or grammatical errors. Ask your friend, parent or teacher to help edit and proofread your application before submitting it. Also, be aware of deadlines.

Prep your letter of recommendation
These days, it’s common for scholarship providers to ask for a recommendation letter. So reach out to people in your life who know about your work ethic, talents and character. Approach your school counsellors, mentors, academic advisors, coaches, teachers or staff in a community or volunteer organisation. Do not ask your family members or personal friends.